For beginners, it can seem like a good idea (and an exciting prospect) to buy a company that tells a good story to investors, even if it currently lacks a track record of revenue and profit. Unfortunately, these high risk investments often have little probability of ever paying off, and many investors pay a price to learn their lesson. A loss-making company is yet to prove itself with profit, and eventually the inflow of external capital may dry up.
Despite being in the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, many investors still adopt a more traditional strategy; buying shares in profitable companies like American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG). While profit isn't the sole metric that should be considered when investing, it's worth recognising businesses that can consistently produce it.
How Quickly Is American Financial Group Increasing Earnings Per Share?
If a company can keep growing earnings per share (EPS) long enough, its share price should eventually follow. That means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. Over the last three years, American Financial Group has grown EPS by 15% per year. That growth rate is fairly good, assuming the company can keep it up.
Top-line growth is a great indicator that growth is sustainable, and combined with a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin, it's a great way for a company to maintain a competitive advantage in the market. Our analysis has highlighted that American Financial Group's revenue from operations did not account for all of their revenue in the previous 12 months, so our analysis of its margins might not accurately reflect the underlying business. While American Financial Group did well to grow revenue over the last year, EBIT margins were dampened at the same time. So it seems the future may hold further growth, especially if EBIT margins can remain steady.
In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings and revenue, over time. Click on the chart to see the exact numbers.
While we live in the present moment, there's little doubt that the future matters most in the investment decision process. So why not check this interactive chart depicting future EPS estimates, for American Financial Group?
Are American Financial Group Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?
Since American Financial Group has a market capitalisation of US$11b, we wouldn't expect insiders to hold a large percentage of shares. But thanks to their investment in the company, it's pleasing to see that there are still incentives to align their actions with the shareholders. We note that their impressive stake in the company is worth US$2.5b. Coming in at 23% of the business, that holding gives insiders a lot of influence, and plenty of reason to generate value for shareholders. Looking very optimistic for investors.
Should You Add American Financial Group To Your Watchlist?
As previously touched on, American Financial Group is a growing business, which is encouraging. To add an extra spark to the fire, significant insider ownership in the company is another highlight. These two factors are a huge highlight for the company which should be a strong contender your watchlists. Before you take the next step you should know about the 1 warning sign for American Financial Group that we have uncovered.
There's always the possibility of doing well buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But for those who consider these important metrics, we encourage you to check out companies that do have those features. You can access a free list of them here.
Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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